Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
 
14. England to Free Men
 
By John Galsworthy
 
 
MEN of my blood, you English men!
From misty hill and misty fen,
From cot, and town, and plough, and moor,
Come in—before I shut the door!
Into my courtyard paved with stones        5
That keep the names, that keep the bones,
Of none but English men who came
Free of their lives, to guard my fame.
 
I am your native land who bred
No driven heart, no driven head;        10
I fly a flag in every sea
Round the old Earth, of Liberty!
I am the Land that boasts a crown;
The sun comes up, the sun goes down—
And never men may say of me,        15
Mine is a breed that is not free.
 
I have a wreath! My forehead wears
A hundred leaves—a hundred years
I never knew the words: “You must!”
And shall my wreath return to dust?        20
Freemen! The door is yet ajar;
From northern star to southern star,
O ye who count and ye who delve,
Come in—before my clock strikes twelve!
 

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